FAMILIES made homeless when a roof was blown off their block of flats in Purfleet fear they won’t be able to move back until the summer.

It is thought eight families were affected when water poured into the block on the Watts Wood Park estate, in Bridgland Road, just before Christmas.

Builders have moved in to fix the damage, but those affected have criticised the company which manages the homes, saying there were existing problems with the flats.

Residents claim OM ignored their pleas for help when issues were first raised in October.

Those made homeless have been put into hotels and temporary accommodation by the company, but residents said even that was problematic.

One resident, who didn’t want to be named, said he could fit his fist through a hole in his roof – two months before the flood.

He said: “What would have been a slight fix to a fairly small problem has now escalated into a whole block reconstruction. That’s ridiculous.”

Another resident said: “We’ve not been given a date as to when we’ll be back in our homes. OM has just told us to find temporary accommodation for six months while the issues are fixed.”

An OM spokesman apologised for the inconvenience but said the company had carried out regular site visits and was offering accommodation to those affected.

He added: “We recognise the considerable inconvenience that the storm damage caused residents. We are very sorry that this caused distress.”